Sunday, 27 November 2016

Alfred gets a run...

It's been a few weeks since I took Alfred to Urmston, but today he got to stretch his wheels.

Pictures by Jason Lau. Please click on any one for a larger image.

Prep bays this morning. Keith with 'The Beast', Dave with his Black Five, the Chairman's Rebuilt Scot, and me fettling Alfred. Jim and his 9F haven't arrived yet.

Before lighting up, I 'oil round' all the moving parts. The fine pipe on this oilcan reaches to the valve gear under the boiler, between the frames.

The compressed air blower is inserted in Alfred's chimney to draw the fire after 'lighting up', while I turn on his steam blower to see if there's enough boiler pressure yet to dispose of the external blower

Billy checks out Jim's lovely 9F

Out on the track

Alfred blows off as I fine-tune one of his injectors to feed more water into the boiler and calm things down. The pipe on a stick by the line side is the water supply for topping up his tender water tank.

Dave's Black Five, also blowing off. Steam from the RH injector indicates Dave is attempting to get it to 'pick up, for the same reasons as I did on Alfred, above.

Billy anxious to depart on Jim's 9F, which is also blowing off! Judging by the full load of passengers departure has been delayed while everyone gets on board, resulting in excess steam being generated during the delay, hence the safety valves lifting.

Trevor on the Rebuilt Scot. This one's blowing off as well! Trevor has ordered a Jubilee model from the same source as I have. Both will be LMS Crimson Lake, but his will be named 'Trafalgar' while mine will be 'Warspite'.

Jim tries his hand on Alfred, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Like me, Jim has a soft spot for narrow gauge locomotives.

Ex-BR loco driver Eddie with 'The Beast'

Barry on Dave's Black Five while a young enthusiast looks fascinated by the loco


Sunday, 20 November 2016

A new addition to the steam fleet is on order

Here's the next addition to the Vince steam loco stud. A brand new 5 inch gauge LMS 3-cylinder Jubilee 4-6-0 express locomotive.

The Jubilee in Crimson Lake 

Cab detail

This is the Jubilee in BR green

With tender it's about six feet long, and should arrive in April or May next year. Mine will be in LMS Crimson Lake, and named 'Warspite'.

I went down to Braunston in September to see the prototype (the Crimson Lake one in these pictures). Gave them my order on the spot! The green one is the second prototype, and there will be a maximum of 50 production locomotives.

Should be popular on passenger trains at Urmston. The kids will think it's Hogwarts Express!

Footnote 27 November: I heard today that fellow Urmston member Trevor has ordered one of these as well, also in Crimson Lake. His will be named 'Trafalgar'.


A quiet day at Urmston today

Photos by Jason Lau.

Bit bleak at Urmston this morning

These are the three locomotives that were on passenger duty today. L to R, the Chairman's Royal Scot, Jim's Venezuelan tank, and Dave's Black Five.

....While this vertical boilered 'Coffee Pot' ran round the inner track

The early rain and cold weather kept passenger numbers down, but we still ran the trains even if empty. 

Fallen leaves gather in the cuttings around the track. If they are not cleared they eventually get deep enough to impede the coaches of the trains, getting jammed under the foot boards.

Early passengers ride behind 'Spirit of Urmston' while the steam locos are being prepared fro service.

After a spot of leaf clearing (an annual autumn chore at the track) I was driving Jim Moyles' superbly capable Beyer Peacock Venezuelan tank loco on passenger trains.

Driving Jim's Venezuelan tank, with Jim standing behind 
This engine steams like there's no tomorrow. It has an ejector to power the vacuum brakes on the coaches, and even with that running (consuming steam) I had to have the firebox doors open most of the time to draw cold air through the boiler tubes to prevent the loco blowing off.

Barry driving the Beyer Peacock, while I look on musing it's not just me who had problems trying to prevent it blowing off!
Here's a reminder of warmer days, with me moving Alfred on the traverser. Alfred had a rest at home today but he might get a run at Urmston next Sunday if the weather's OK.

Alfred on the traverser back in October

16th October 2016, me driving Dave's realistically grubby Black Five